Guess which famous architect Malta is paying tribute to with a special carnival float?
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Guess which famous architect Malta is paying tribute to with a special carnival float?

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A huge carnival float has been built in Malta as a rather unorthodox tribute to one of the world's most famous architects.

Renzo Piano – the designer of The Shard,, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the nearly-completed Stavros Niarchos Cultural Centre – was honoured at last week’s Maltese Carnival for his architectural contribution to country’s capital, Valletta.

A gigantic smiling depiction of Piano appeared on a special float, titled ‘For those who have built Valletta’, which led a procession through the city on the opening day of this year’s carnival festivities.

Piano designed Valletta’s €90m (US$101.7m, £70.5m) Parliament House, which opened last year and was recreated as a backdrop of the carnival float. He also reimagined Valletta’s City Gate and designed an open-air theatre within the ruins of the former Royal opera house and a large new area of public space.

The depiction of the architect was joined on the float – designed by artists Paul and Joe Mizzi – by scupltures of cultural figures from Malta’s past, including 16th century Maltese architect Glormu Cassa, plus French nobleman and ‘warrior monk’ Jean de la Valette.

The Maltese Carnival is held every February in the run up to Lent, and features masked balls, grotesque mask and fancy dress competitions, lavish late-night parties and a vibrant parade.

This year’s event is celebrating both the country’s 450th anniversary and the decision to name Valletta as Europe’s Capital of Culture for 2018.

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A huge carnival float has been built in Malta as a rather unorthodox tribute to one of the world's most famous architects.
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